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Massive oil spillage clean up underway at Mandinary

A 1.7m-Dalasi exercise to clear oil spillage in the river near Mandinary is underway following heavy fuel oil spillage at the Gam Petroleum depot in Mandinaring. This was announced at a joint press conference hosted by regulatory agencies tasked to look into the incident that occurred while a vessel, MT ST Sturla, was discharging heavy fuel oil at the Gam Petroleum depot in Mandinari. The agencies confirmed that a significant amount of oil spilled into the river and washed up on the coast. The vessel is reported to have discharged 1,501 tonnes of Heavy Fuel Oil, 1,430 tonnes of which were received by Gam Petroleum. Inspectors from the Public Utility Authority, the National Environment Agency, and the Gambia Maritime Administration are involved in the assessment of the damage. 




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    The vice-chair of the Gambia Football Federation electoral committeeSaikou B. Jarju has declared that the GFF presidential elections will take place on the 27th of August 2022 at a venue to be disclosed in due time.Mr. Jarju also stated that nominations will open on the 21st of July 2022 and close on July 28th and announcements of the candidates will be made on the 4th of August 2022. This will be followed by an announcement of the final list of eligible candidates on the 13th of August 2022.

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    The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons [NAATIP] of the Republic of the Gambia and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons [NAPTIP] of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are cooperating in the fight against people trafficking. The two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons of especially women and children in both countries and beyond.The agreement is aimed at establishing direct channels of communication, building trust, exchanging information, and taking a new approach in judicial cooperation to fight trafficking in person. The director of NAATIP Tulai Jawara Ceesay and Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi of NAPTIP both said the agreement would help address their challenges when implemented effectively. The International Organisation for Migration’s chief of mission in the Gambia Fumigo Nagano expressed hope that the MoU will help tackle the menace.     The High commissioner of the federal republic of Nigeria to the Gambia Muhammed Manu said there is a missing link in the fight against trafficking. Trafficking in persons is a crime and a human rights abuse. The three most common forms are sex, Labour, and Child trafficking. Recent reports by the IOM have indicated that over 30 billion US dollars have been earned by the criminals involved in trafficking with over 2 million people falling into their traps across the continent. These two parties in their drive towards the implementation of the provisions of the MOU have set up a Joint Implementation Working Group with equal representation of members from both the Gambia and Nigeria.

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    President Barrow appoints minister of communication

    His Excellency President Adama Barrow in exercise of the powers conferred on him under Sections 71(1) and 71(3)  of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, has appointed Mr Ousman A. Bah as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, effective today, 24th June 2022.

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    Baba Hydara Testifies as Bai Lowe stand trial for crimes against humnity

    Baba Hydara , son of the slain journalist Deyda Hydara has on Tuesday testified in the ongoing trial of a former member of Ex-President Jammeh’s hit squad Bai Lowe in Celle, Germany. Baba is one of the Plaintiffs in the trial of the former patrol team member. Bai Lowe is accused of being a member of the hit squad, known as the Junglers, between 2003 and 2006 and has allegedly participated in the assassination of opponents of former President Yahya Jammeh, including the murder of Deyda Hydara a journalist of the AFP news agency and Co-founder of Gambia daily The point Newspaper . Lowe is accused of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder including helping to stop Hydara’s car and driving one of the killers in his own vehicle.In a lengthy and cross-cutting testimony Baba discussed the history and content of the point newspaper where his father worked as well as his dedication to press freedom, Democracy and good governance. Baba explained that his late father had two columns in the newspaper called "Good morning Mr President and the Bite" where he wrote on issues of national concern and socioeconomic development. This according to Baba never went down well with the former president as he received several threats from the corridors of power. The  witness also discussed the killing of his father, his family's reaction to the news of the murder and the subsequent difficulties endured by his family including financial and, educational challenges. He also detailed the psychological trauma as well as security threats his family encountered after the killing of his late father. He disclosed that no formal or impartial investigation was launched on the assassination of his father by government. However, the international Journalists network Reporters without Borders carried out some investigations and put pressure on government to investigate the matter. This he said led to government issuing a partial report tarnishing Deyda's reputation. The witness also discussed his understanding of the patrol team, the assassination of his dad, Dawda Nyassi and the attack on Ousman Sillah. He stressed that he never wanted to discuss the assassination of his father with anyone because it disturbs him. Baba also said that everything he knows about the work of the Junglers and murder of his dad came during his time with Gambia's victims center. The presiding judges also asked clarification on whether Ida Jagne and Isatou Jagne refer to the same person who was in the car during Deyda's assassination and the witness said he knows only Ida Jagne and not Isatou. The plaintiff's lawyer Dr Patrick Kroker asked about the Junglers who returned from Equatorial Guinea and the witness explained that they were arrested, charged and taken to court and later discharged. The witness said government intended to shut down the Point Newspaper and threatened  Pap Saine, the co founder of the paper. Baba Hydara urged the government of the Gambia to ensure the implementation of the TRRC recommendations saying accepting them alone is insufficient. He expressed his commitment to fight for justice for his late father and other victims of ex-president Jammeh and his hit squad. He called for the swift prosecution of the perpetrators. The father-of-four, late Deyda Hydara worked as a Gambia correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and was considered a doyen among journalists in the West African state. The court Presided by a panel of five judges is adjourned to Thursday 30th june 2022.

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    Global media forum in progress in Germany

    After 2 years, the Global media forum is back. The programme brings together hundreds of journalists in an interdisciplinary approach to tackle current issues shaping the way journalists do their work in a changing world. This years theme on “Shaping tomorrow now” comes at a time the world is going through a poly crisis, from the Covid-19 pandemic, wars and conflict to imminent issues overlooked in the coverage of Africa. Experts in media, science and related disciplines share perspectives on journalism in war times, the difference between activism and journalism, climate change to stories relevant to local realities.  Participating journalists shared insights on the engagements and the importance of bringing journalists together in such a conference after 2 years of being apart. Most of the journalists come from countries affected by the many issues dominating news coverage, it still does not solve the inequalities they face. This breeds the question of how news is covered and who is covering. However there are key takeaways that resonate with those at the frontlines One thing that speakers addressed is for Editors to check on the well-being of their reporters. That despite the efforts of journalists to bring forth stories that matter even when that means risking their lives and comfort, they are first humans with emotions and families.

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    Bai Lowe on trial in Germany

    The trial of a former member of ex-President Jammeh’s hit squad continues in Celle, Germany. Bai Lowe is accused of being a member of the hit squad, known as the Junglers, between 2003 and 2006 and has participated in the assassination of opponents of former President Yahya Jammeh, including a journalist of the AFP news agency, Deyda Hydara.  The suspect, identified as Bai Lowe, is accused of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder, including the 2004 killing of longstanding AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara, who was also co-founder of Gambian independent daily The Point.Lowe, arrested in Hanover in March 2021, appeared in court on Monday in the nearby town of Celle as witnesses testified at the court. one of the witnesses who testified on Monday was Mr. D’Angelo. Mr. D’Angelo worked for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and conducted the second hearing in Bai Lowe’s asylum procedure. The goal of the second hearing was to establish whether there was a sufficient need of protection in order to grant asylum. Mr. D’Angelo used the protocol from the hearing to prepare his testimony. He recalls that Bai Lowe was in the military as a soldier and that Bai Lowe  told him he signed up voluntarily in 2003. He showed Mr. D’Angelo some military certificates and He was a member of the Patrol Team. His function was to be the driver. He also recalls some of the issues he discussed with Mr Lowe during his Asylum interview including his time in the army, the patrol team, the people he work with in the team and his subsequent imprisonment among other things. the other witnesses who testified on Monday was Bakary Sanyang a Gambian based in Hannover Germany and a friend to Mr Lowe. He explained their time together in Germany and issues they had previously discussed in relation to the work of the Junglers and activities participated by Mr Lowe during his time with hit squad. He discussed how he helped him settle in Germany and his involvement in the killings of Deyda Hydara, Dawda Nyassi, Haruna Jammeh, Macy Jammeh, and Daba Marena as well as the attempted murder of Ousman Sillah among other torture crimes by the Junglers. Sanyang also explained his previous discussions with the accused on the members of the hit squad headed by Tumbul Tamba. This the witness said included Sanna Manjang, Malick Jatta, Modou Jarju alias Rambo, Fansu Nyabally, Alieu Jeng, Kawsu Camara, Bora Colley, Pa Sanneh, Nuha Badjie, solo Bojang, Michael Correa, Saikouba Jarjue and Saul Badjie Among others. The trial is “the first to prosecute human rights violations committed in The Gambia during the Jammeh era on the basis of universal jurisdiction” which allows a foreign country to prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, regardless of where they were committed.The Junglers unit was used by the then-president of Gambia to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things” with the aim of “intimidating the Gambian population and suppressing the opposition,” according to federal prosecutors.

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    Khalifa General of the Niassen brotherhood meets President Barrow

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    OIC Secretary General arrives in The Gambia

    The President H.E Adama Barrow Friday received in audience the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference Hissein Brahim Taha at the State House. The OIC boss is in The Gambia  for discussions with Gambian officials on the preparations of the upcoming OIC summit to be held in The Gambia. Mr Taha arrived in The Gambia Thursday evening to assess the state of preparedness for the hosting of the OIC summit later this year.Speaking to reporters after his audience with President Barrow, Mr Taha reaffirmed the OIC member states' full support for The Gambia's hosting of the summit. During his stay in The Gambia, the OIC boss will visit project sites within the Greater Banjul Area to see first hand the level of preparedness. Currently the OIC in partnership with government is constructing the 50km dual carriage highway from the airport through the bertil harding to the Kairaba Avenue and a VVIP Presidential lounge at the airport. 

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    IGP frown over poor conditions of three police posts.

    The inspector general of Police Abdoulie Sanyang has ordered the relocation of three police posts. A statement from the police says the relocation order was made following the IGP's visit to Farato, Latrikunda Picadilly, and Brikama Nyambai police posts. The IGP is on a nationwide tour of police officers and police facilities to assess their conditions. The statement indicated that the condition of the rented facilities was not conducive for police officers working there. The IGP observed that the facilities were not kept in good condition despite the high rent fees charged by the landlords. Regional police commanders have been asked to identify better locations in the communities for the police posts.

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    Three more men in police custody in connection with Kerr Mot Ali Arson attack

    Police have arrested three more men, including one Senegalese national, in connection with the Kerr Mot Ali arson attack. The police are investigating an arson attack in May that destroyed several homes in Kerr Mot Ali in the central river region. The three men, Sagarr Ceesay Secka, Momodou Habiboulie Secka, and Abdou Ceesay are being held at the Bansang police station and are expected to be brought before the courts. Sagarr Ceesay Secka, a Senegalese national from Kerr man village is accused of being the ring leader behind the arson attack. Fourteen other men pleaded not guilty in May and were remanded in custody while police continue their investigations